The winter of 2014 - is it one for the ages?

January 10, 2014 | Carolyn

Comments (2)

IciclesWhen we complained about the inconveniences of winter as children, my father told us how he walked 5 km to school, even in the worst winter weather; when the lake froze over he could skate there, which was only 3 km. Not to be outdone, my mother told us how so much snow fell one night when she was a child that the front door wouldn't open in the morning; her brother had to climb out an upstairs window and slide down the snow piled up against the house before he could shovel it away from the door.



Photo 2What stories will we tell about the winter of 2014?

We've experienced an ice storm, power outages, frost quakes  and a polar vortex - all before the middle of January. It's shaping up to be an epic    winter.                                                                                                                       



Here are some reading suggestions in keeping with the season:


Ice: the nature, the history and the uses of an astonishing substance

Former science journalist Gosnell presents a well-researched and engaging history that natural science readers will enjoy. She discusses ice in all its forms as it occurs in nature, as well as how it is experienced and used by plants, animals and humans.








Falling for snow: a naturalist's journey into the world of winter

Stories and anecdotes about snow from a Yellowknife-based science writer. Includes instructions for building a quinzhee (snow house).









  Life in the cold: an introduction to winter ecology
A classic book describing how plants, animals and human interact with their winter environments. The author is an ecologist, writer and photographer.



Available as:






 For fictional treatments of winter stories:


The Frozen ThamesThe Thames River has frozen forty times from the first record in 1142 to the most recent occurance in 1895. Here, Helen Humphreys presents stories, based on actual events, for each of the times the river froze.

Available as:



talking book




Hans Brinker, or, the silver skatesThis classic children's book by Mary Mapes Dodge seems to be enjoying a revival of sorts. I picked it up a few years ago and found it  stands up very well to a second reading. The story has universal appeal and is satisfying on many levels.

Available as:





The Osborne Collection has copies of Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates dating back to 1874.